The Bow Stops Here: An Anxiety Controlled Performance Ebook for Relieving Stage Fright

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In this anxiety-controlled performance ebook, Mary Smale offers a solution for those who suffer from the debilitating effects of anxiety which stem from most types of performance. The book examines and expands upon the philosophical and physical practice method developed by the violinist Charl Ann Gastineau, who was directly inspired by the words of her mentor, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the great Japanese musician and educator.

Dr. Suzuki said, “Stop the bow after each note and prepare for the next note.” These words guided Gastineau throughout her musical career, which included decades of successfully teaching her students to execute confident, mindful performances.

Adhering to this method in any endeavor which requires precision — music, dance, sports, martial arts — ultimately allows the practitioner to fluidly execute their movements with perfection, resulting in a kinesthetic and mental confidence that defies the anxiety often associated with live performance. Even the most average student can achieve perfection free of anxiety by being present (mindful) for every second of the performance.

This book also examines the effects of extreme high anxiety (EHA) in different situations. Here, Smale delves beyond performance anxiety (stage fright) to examine other fear-based scenarios: the fight or flight of the potential victim and the fear-of-failing scenario of the student facing a test. Most chapters include a Q and A section where the most frequently asked questions are answered.

Stage fright and performance anxiety can be a thing of the past after engaging with this ebook. Children, students, and adults alike can reap the benefits of ridding themselves of stomach butterflies before and during performances, playoffs, public speaking, and other anxiety-inducing events.

About the Author

Mary Smale is a math, art, music, and martial arts instructor who has taught students for more than 35 years. Her experience teaching children led her to write Math Drawings: Good Stuff for Teachers, Parents, and Students, which helps children who struggle with math to lessen their anxiety by visualizing their drawings in terms of math and vice versa.

In addition, Smale used the anxiety-control performance method she describes in this book in her study and practice of martial arts. The perfection she achieved led her to earn black belts in 4 different martial arts styles and to win seven black belt kata divisions in martial arts tournaments despite being over the age of 50.

Purchase a copy of this book and take the first step to own the stage by controlling your performance anxiety.


“…Charl Ann was right! It really doesn’t take four-to-six hours of mere practice, it takes centered attention on what our hands and fingers are doing – focus, dedication, and clear, concise Stop Bow. Though this may seem tedious, practicing this way makes the most difficult passage of a concerto seem effortless.” Tara Gillaspy

“The Stop Bow Method was what really carried me from a basic knowledge of a piece to a confident mastery of the piece. I was learning Mozart’s A major concerto with the Stop Bow Method. The technical difficulties and transparency of the piece were a new challenge for me, but through careful, slow practice with this method, the difficulties of fast passage work and high notes lost their intimidation factor completely. I really felt that I truly could learn and perform anything, even the hardest pieces in the violin repertoire.” Rebecca Tseitlin

“The difficult passages were no longer difficult because the student could go as slowly as needed and simply play one note at a time… Under the high pressure of a fiddling competition, where the competition was stiff, using Stop Bow was a must. From the foundation of perfect, slow, consistent Stop Bow practices came the ability to play quickly and flawlessly during those high-intensity performances. .. I now teach violin and every new song is learned with Stop Bow only.” Morgan Gillaspy

“Slow and accurate playing forces you to engage your mind and mentally concentrate on what you are doing which leads to faster and deeper learning.” Dr Harry Cozen

“At the time, I thought Stop Bow lessons were simply torturous, painful and just plain cruel. Every lesson ended with sore fingertips and pure frustration. But I learned that if I wanted to learn a piece well, the most effective way was by stopping every bow stroke and making sure every note was captured. My lessons forced me to be accurate at every moment.” Melodie Arbaban-Ghafouri

“If you don’t have much time to practice, then you’d better make the most of the time you do have. The Stop Bow practice ensures that every note will be perfect then, and later as well.” Asher Smith

“The method taught my son to be deliberate and exacting in his playing. It taught him discipline, both in timing and intonation, which was something not often seen in young fiddlers.” Richard Giacopuzzi

“Using the Stop Bow Method ensures that the time spent practicing is quality time which ultimately results in beautiful music.” Eva Masarang

“I wish I had had the Stop Bow Method to use in my singing and guitar work. Over time, I developed so much performance anxiety that I quit playing in public.” Michael Leppert